Dr. Veronika Wirtz, professor of global health at Boston University School of Public Health, has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Strengthening Food and Drug Regulatory Systems. She joins 11 other international experts on food and medication safety, health systems, and policy.
The committee will develop a report that outlines recommendations for improving the performance of food and drug regulatory systems in low- and middle-income countries. The committee has already begun its work, and the report is expected to be published by the end of 2019.
Dr. Wirtz, who conducts research on health systems strengthening and policy and program evaluations of medicine access and evaluation, says she is honored to collaborate with other experts as they determine the challenges and opportunities that regulators face in these countries.
“Effective regulatory systems for food, medicines, and medical devices are an essential element of a functioning health system,” she says. “However, the role is often unrecognized, and as a result, the responsible agencies are underfunded, understaffed, and have insufficient political autonomy.”
Many governments in lower-income countries underestimate the importance of regulatory authorities and decide to prioritize other issues, Dr. Wirtz says.Friday Letter Submission